Emotional Intelligence involves having a good understanding of your own emotions amid a crisis and is the first step toward helping team members process theirs.
Three questions about Emotional Intelligence
1| How do we reframe our thoughts amid a crisis?
Kelli Porcaro: Being able to reframe your thoughts is important at any time, but especially in the midst of a crisis. When dealing with difficult emotions like fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, you may start to play the “What if” game – filling your mind with ideas that may or may not be true.
To reframe your thoughts, try applying the Stop-Challenge-Focus model:
- Stop. Step back from the situation and turn inward to notice your thoughts and feelings. How are your feelings and thoughts connected? How are they influencing your current perception of reality and your actions?
- Challenge. Consider if your thoughts are true or if they are based on your emotions. People often discount emotions, but they actually provide a lot of data about the situation. What are your emotions telling you? If you could intentionally choose your thoughts right now and your emotions, what would they be? How would that influence your perception?
- Focus. By learning to choose your thoughts and feelings, you can intentionally and purposefully respond in the midst of crisis versus react under pressure.
2| Why is self-awareness important in that process?
Porcaro: Experts report that we have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. Consider how many thoughts occur and go unchecked all day long and how that influences your perception of self and others. Slowing down and becoming more self-aware allows you more opportunity to reframe your thoughts. Imagine the impact your reframed thoughts could have on your outlook in the current reality.
3| As a leader, how do you pivot from handling your own worries to helping team members or employees navigate change?
Porcaro: A big part of leadership is about caring for your employees. Sometimes that means you have to set aside your own concerns so that you can be present with your employees. This is where active listening and empathy come into play. Don’t feel like you have to always fix a problem. Sometimes just being present to listen and acknowledge the situation is enough. Employees want to feel known, valued, supported, and heard. During a crisis, step up the one on one and/or team meetings and stay connected.
Meet the exec
Kelli Porcaro, PCC, EQAP
Porcaro is principal consultant at EQuip Studios. She helps train leaders across many industries, including veterinary medicine. EQuip Studios offers a full-service learning and development menu for organizations looking to unlock infinite possibilities through greater self-awareness, employee engagement, connection, and personal and professional growth.